The Pittsburgh Steelers signed tight end Ladarius Green to a four-year, $20 million free agent contract this past offseason but the former draft pick of the San Diego Chargers will likely miss the entire set of OTA practices this year as he continues to recover from ankle surgery.
On Wednesday, Green talked about the difficulties involved in getting acclimated to his new team while being forced to sit out practices.
“It’s kind of different when you’re injured, you’re always in the training room and can’t be on the field with them, you can’t go out there and run the routes,” said Green. “But it’s been good, the guys have been great and they’ve been helping me out as much as they can.”
One of the players who has been helping Green out a lot so far is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and during his Tuesday session with the media, he said he’s been doing a lot of work with Green since he arrived in Pittsburgh.
“That’s the hard part,” admitted Roethlisberger. “I just know kind of things I’ve heard; things I’ve seen with him with the Chargers. So, excited to have him out here, just not sure when that’s going to be. We spent some time talking behind the scenes a little bit, behind practice, so I hope mentally he’ll be ready to go when he’s physically ready.”
While he admitted to being frustrated by being unable to practice so far, Green went on to praise the efforts and help from his new quarterback since he arrived in Pittsburgh.
“Ben’s been coaching me up a lot,” said Green. “He’s been like a big brother. Teaching me everything, going over everything with me, telling me what he expects and what he wants done. So that’s been great.”
While he continues to rehab his ankle, Green will be forced to tag along with his new position coach James Daniel over the course of the team’s OTA practices and mentally prepare himself for the start of training camp as that’s when he hopes to finally start practicing fully.
“All I can do is listen and try to learn everything I can,” said Green. “It’s a big offense, they’re a great offense, so it’s a lot to learn and I’m just trying to learn as much as I can.”
Green, who registered 77 catches for 1,087 yards and 7 touchdowns during his first four years in the league with the Chargers, is expected to have a large role in the Steelers offense this season as he will be expected to fill the shoes of former tight end Heath Miller, who retired this past offseason.